It's no secret that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which launched back in May of last year, is arguably one of the finest games to be released for the next generation consoles thus far (and of course it's on PC too).
Winning Game of the Year 2015, the CD Projekt Red open-world monster slaying game continued the story of The Witcher franchise hero Geralt of Rivia directly after the events of the previous game, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings.
But before The Witcher 3 had even released we knew that this would be our last outing with Geralt, according to CD Projekt Red writer Jakub Szamałek who described Wild Hunt as the conclusion to Geralt's story:
"I think good stories must have an ending. You cannot extend them indefinitely, and we felt that Geralt has had such an amazing adventure, and his saga is already so long and complex that this seemed like a good point to think about an appropriate finale for the story."
And what a fantastic send off it was. And it's not over yet, Geralt got to ride again in expansion pack Hearts of Stone which was released last year and we've still got the second DLC Blood and Wine due to land sometime in the first half of this year.
But Szamałek's comments worried some fans, does this mean the end of The Witcher series altogether?
Not For A Long While Yet
Although CD Projekt Red didn't rule out making another instalment in the series altogether they did say it wouldn't be happing for a long time; they had no intention of "annualising a franchise" and didn't know when they would return to the world of The Witcher.
Additionally CEO Marcin Iwiński told Game Informer back in September that he feels the series "deserves some rest":
"The past 10 years the team has been working on swords and castles and medieval Slavic monsters. So I think it's time for some guns, androids, and some ammo. And a necropolis. So this is what we'll be working on."
However this is probably a smart idea, especially the comments about not annualising the franchise. Ubisoft did this with their Assassin's Creed series and it turned out to be a bad model as the latter games failed to live up to their predecessors, prompting a negative reaction from their audience.
Tying up Geralt's story and moving on to another narrative within the vast world of The Witcher gives CD Projekt Red almost limitless possibilities to return without eating its own tail both narratively and in terms of gameplay.
The Witcher 4
"It’s too early to talk about it, but it’s not like we’re forgetting about this brand – that’s understandable... It wouldn’t be fair towards the fans. We work within this universe for over a dozen years now and I don’t think it’s going to be the end of it."
But since there's no more Geralt there are a great deal of possibilities to be explored now. It's a big old Witcher world out there.
Will they go the Fallout 4 route and have the player character be custom created? Will we get a whole new roster of amazing NPCs to interact with, or will they keep some of the old faces around? And, most importantly, will we still have unicorn sex scenes?
Of course this still means we're not going to be seeing anything on that front for a good many years, as previously expressed by the developers. But in the meantime we do have the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 coming our way from CD Projekt Red, and it looks like it's gonna be just as good as Wild Hunt was (well, we can hope anyway.)